Snapshot by Countries: Are Electronic Signatures Legal? (Infographics)

Since our users asked us a lot about the legality of eSignatures, KeepSolid Sign team conducted a research on this topic. We analyzed the following types of electronic signatures (the definitions are based on the electronic identification, authentication, and trust services regulation (eIDAS)):

  • The electronic signature is a data in electronic form, which is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign.
  • The digital signature is the type of electronic signature which verifies the identity of a signer by using cryptographic protocols and certificate-based digital ID.
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Electronic signature turned out to be a real digital revolution which liberates you from the print-and-scan routine. It is an extremely convenient solution that helps you to make your office paper-free and save your time (signing documents electronically takes only about 45 sec).

As you may see from the infographics, the legality of electronic signature can be divided into 2 groups. The first one allows only digital signatures. The second one allows any types of eSignatures, including electronic signature. Also, the second group has certain peculiarity. It is divided by an eSignature legal model into two types: Tiered and Open.

The “tiered” countries are more widespread, and this is where you may need extra evidence to support electronic signature in court. At the same time, these countries recognize Qualified Digital Signature (or other locally named equivalent) as a special form of proving validation which needs no additional confirmation. A great example of such is Brazil with its public key infrastructure (PKI), the framework that lends legal validity to electronic signatures. On the other hand, the “open” model countries have no special requirements for proving eSignature’s legality and in court, no additional evidence is required.

KeepSolid Sign can serve as a great example of the electronic signature with advanced levels of security. In our app, we have implemented high-grade PGP encryption in order to protect your private data. It is this reliability and security that puts us over most of your everyday eSignature solutions. What’s more, we are on the way to receive the certificate that will allow us to provide digital signatures, so stay tuned for updates!

Legislatives in different countries have begun implementing eSignatures since the late 90s, although only now, with the development of technological tools, they are gaining popularity. Despite this delay, we can notice some important milestones in this technology’s development, like the first electronically signed government-level document, or the recognition of an email signature as a valid electronic signature in South Africa. This shows the potential that’s hidden within this little piece of technology.

So, is an electronic signature technology legal? Yes, but every country has its’ own ins and outs. Download KeepSolid Sign and become a part of technological breakthrough, too!

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